Saturday 10 December 2016

5 All-Irelands, 10 Munsters and 3 All Stars: Kerry legend Marc Ó Sé announces retirement from inter-county football

Published 12/10/2016 | 12:34

One of Gaelic football's greatest ever players has called time on his career with Kerry corner back Marc Ó Sé releasing a statement confirming his inter-county retirement.

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Ó Sé won five-All-Ireland titles and 10 Munster crowns in a glittering 15-season career that saw him win Player of the Year in 2007 and also collect three All Stars.

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The corner back made his championship debut in 2002 alongside brothers Tomas and Darragh, with his uncle Paidi Ó Sé managing the team. He reached the All-Ireland final in his first season, losing to Armagh, before winning his first Celtic Cross two years later after a victory over Mayo.

He won his fifth and final All-Ireland ten years later against Donegal, before moving into a squad player role. His final appearance for his county came off the bench in the narrow All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Dublin in August.

"If you told me as a child that I would go on and win All Ireland's with my heroes I would have said I was dreaming so to be able to do that has been one of the greatest thrills of my life," Ó Sé said in a statement.

"To play alongside some of the greatest players to ever play the game is something I will always cherish."

Kerr manager Eamonn Fitzmauice said: “On behalf of the Kerry management and players I would like to congratulate Marc Ó Sé on his retirement.

“He has been an outstanding servant for the Green and Gold with a senior inter county career that stretches over fifteen years. He has played under four different managers and won five All Ireland medals and numerous individual awards in a stellar career.

“This remarkable longevity is a tribute to his professionalism and determination to do the necessary to keep himself at the top of the game.

“I had the honour of both playing and managing Marc. He was an outstanding team mate and a pleasure to manage. He for many years was the back that got to mark the opposition’s number one danger man. More often than not we could take that as mission accomplished.

“As well as being an outstanding man marker he also possessed a rare natural football ability. He was a footballing defender and was an attacking corner back long before it was en vogue, kicking scores from the no 2 position as far back as the All Ireland quarter final against Armagh in 2006.

“He also had a huge presence in the dressing room which was of particular significance in the last few years. He led by example and helped to drive a culture of excellence within the setup. Be it excelling in the football sessions, winning runs, driving gym sessions or speaking in meetings Marc was to the forefront of everything we did.

“Many of our younger players learned a huge amount from him as he displayed to them what it takes to be a Kerry footballer and the responsibilities that go with that. The respect within the group for him is absolute.

“While he is taking a well deserved sabbatical from Kerry at the moment I can see him back in a management capacity in the near future.”

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